on receiving praise and applause - Printable Version

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on receiving praise and applause - HelenaZF - 10-16-2006

As performers, worship artists often encounter the dilemma of receiving the praise of others while struggling to remaining humble and in right relationship with the Lord about it all.

It is a natural thing for people to express their appreciation and enjoyment of a song well-sung, a dance well-danced, or any presentation that moves them. People haven't had much instruction on this in the church, so what do they do? They fall back on the cultural patterns: clapping, shouts & whistles, effusive praise to the performer.

Those are all the sorts of things that feed the soul & ego, and while we are thrilled that our offering to the Lord has been appreciated by those around us, and they have been "touched" somehow....it can be an uncomfortable position unless you know how to direct the praise and compliments. We want God to receive the glory, not us. But how do we do that without correcting or insulting the people offering their heartfelt expressions?

Telling people NOT to applaud is not the answer. They will forget, or if they don't, they will feel awkward about it. Training a group of people to say "thank you Lord! or Amen!" rather than applaud can take years. A proper response for the worship artist, when the crowd breaks out into applause is to acknowledge the applause, and then turn and offer it up to the Lord their own overhead clapping that obviously is sending the applause to God or in the direction of the altar. That allows people to respond, and still directs the praise appropriately.

Years ago, we heard a teaching from a great old lady of the worship movement, Fuschia Pickett. She was a trail-blazer in much of the worship theology most of us walk in today. She told this story that has never left me. She said,

Quote:"I had spoken a message that day that hit home with many of the hearers, and one after one, several dozen of them came up to me and expressed how wonderful they thought I was and how what I had said meant to them.  Afterward, I heard the Lord speak to me and say, Fuschia, you know all those beautiful bouquets that were graciously given to you today?  You have a choice and whichever you choose is fine.  You can either enjoy them yourself, or you can plant them in My heavenly garden, and you and I will enjoy them together throughout eternity.

That night, while I was offering my evening sacrifice, I gave each one of those bouquets to the Lord---He was they One they were meant for anyway, to be planted in His heavenly garden.

I realized also that what the Lord was saying to me was that I was never to demean or trivialize someone's praise by saying "No, don't thank me...it was ALL the Lord!" or "no, no, it was NOTHING....".  And that when I had made those responses in the past, it was like I had trampled that beautiful bouquet that that person was so eager to give me. I was never to do that again, but to receive the praise, and then later return it to the Lord."

It was such a good word. It showed me that God wants us to be genuine authentic people, honestly appreciative of each other and preserving each other's dignity. He and we can settle our accounts privately. Isn't that a great solution to the "false modesty" dilemma?

on receiving praise and applause - flaglady - 12-02-2006

Oh, my! I only just found this and it is soooo beautiful! I shall never, ever forget that philosophy.

on receiving praise and applause - myrrha - 01-03-2007

Thank-you, Helena, for sharing the quote from Fuschia Pickett.

It is one I have read before, but appreciate hearing again.

I LOVE the analogy of the 'bouquet' of flowers.

The whole 'receiving compliments' issue after having done a public offering of worship, is often tough.

I have not always handled it well, myself!

I'm still very uncomfortable when on occasion someone gushes over me after I've led worship or/and sang... my knee-jerk reaction has been to point out all my flaws or make a joke of it.

I've also been tempted to smack them upside the head and say,

"You're supposed to be worshipping; not critiquing the Worship Team!" Smile

But I am learning to now respond with a gracious "thank-you" usually followed by "I'm glad if it somehow brought you closer to Jesus."

Because next week, it may be someone criticizing the way I sounded or did something!~

<COLOR color="seagreen">Any embarrassing moments related to this?</COLOR>

I think the most horrific moment I had personally, was when, after leading worship in a time where the Holy Spirit was REALLY pouring out and the sweetness of His Presence was manifest... (all which was relatively new to our congregation) the pastor pulled me aside in front of the church and proceeded to praise me and my 'talent' and say how nice it was that I was using my gifts for God.

I was really ticked.



And later on asked him to please not do that again.

Interestingly, the rest of the worship team were cringing on my behalf.

They totally knew my heart in the matter and felt embarrassed for me.

Oh my.

on receiving praise and applause - HelenaZF - 01-03-2007

See? Even pastors are often unsure what to do with their praises. I think you handled it as well as it could be done, though.

The part that struck me hardest in that lesson was that we are so careless about other people sometimes. In our efforts to receive praise modestly, we do trample the beautiful bouquets offered to us when we say "oh that was nothing", or "thanks, but did you see that horrific mistake I made?" I've done that in the past, and always felt icky about it afterwards, but without knowing why.

It struck me that those kinds of responses are actually sinful because we are dishonoring the other persons offering. So much better to be real, be gracious, and accept the praise with kindness. We can settle it with God later.

I'm so thankful for the worship trail-blazers like Fuschia Pickett who have left sign-posts along the way for us.

on receiving praise and applause - DeanZF - 01-04-2007

Part of what Fuscia Pickett said had escaped me until Father brought it back to me just now. Thought it worth sharing.

She also talked very directly to our worship team folks on her visit to our church. She shared this story and went into some details that I've not heard elsewhere. I can't remember whether it was her question of the Lord or her fielding the question of one of our team, but the point was, "What do I do with the plastic and silk bouquets? You know, the phoney baloney thanks and praises that are just lipservice and that the folks don't really mean?"

And of course, the answer was, "Give those to Him, too. Don't you think He can deal appropriately with them??" Kind of a "Forgive them, they know not what they do" moment.


on receiving praise and applause - myrrha - 01-04-2007


Plastic/phoney flowers... yes...

I shall endeavor to hand those over to the Lord as well.

When I've been on the giving side of this desire to express my gratitude for someone's ministry gifting, I want to be so careful that they know it is genuine.

The most gracious responses have been my 'teachers'.

A heartfelt "thank-you" graced with humility,

leaves the giver and the receiver satisfied.

And ultimately the Lord is showered with the loveliest Bouquets!